Cardigan Castle

Edward, Senior Projects Advisor talks about our work at Cardigan Castle

"Arriving for a meeting in Cardigan this week I was excited to see the scaffolding up around the Castle walls knowing that the work underway will enable the removal of the unsightly metal buttresses which have supported these walls for so many years.

However  I wondered what first-time visitors to Cardigan make of the box in the picture, with its window showing a stone contained within.  Will the window suddenly open to call to a passing visitor? 

Actually this is the Eisteddfod stone commemorating the fact that Cardigan is the place where, in 1176, the first ever Welsh National Eisteddfod was held and it was an event that was described as a “grand feast of music and poetry”.  

 

This stone in the picture was placed here in 1993 and is indicative of the kind of stones used to make up the Gorsedd Circle which is the centrepiece of any Eisteddfod. 

 

The Gorsedd is the gathering of Bards led  by the Archdruid and last month saw the election of the first female Archdruid.  She is also a Welsh learner rather than it being her first language and, as a lapsed Welsh learner myself I am hugely in awe of someone who can learn the language so well as to be able to write poetry well enough to be elected to such a prestigious position.

The major regeneration project at Cardigan Castle which is now well under way will include interpretation of this very distinctive aspect of Welsh cultural heritage.  Once the part-medieval walls are fully repaired  the stone can emerge from its box.  Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust in partnership with Ceredigion County Council and supported by The Prince’s Regeneration Trust has raised £11m, including a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Within the restored castle site will be created a Welsh Language and Learning Centre, a visitor destination, holiday cottages, business and craft units and a cafe/restaurant.